FILIPINO AMERICAN LIBRARY'S 6TH ANNUAL SPIRIT AWARDS Did the
Filipino Community Discovered Their "James Brown?" Night where the Filipino communities honored Allan Pindea
(Apl de Ap), John Chiang,
Washington Mutual, Filipino American Service Group (FASGI) and AB-CBS
Filipino American Library’s 6th Annual Spirit Awards honored Allan
Pineda (APL.DE.AP) - a member of the hip-hop band the Black Eyed Peas
with its “Role Model Award,” whose pioneering achievement
highlights the success, integration,incorporation and strengths of the
Filipino American communities within the multicultural society that exist
within the United States. He has leveraged his success in the immensely
popular Black Eyed Peas to write the song “Bebot” (Tagalog
slang for “hot chick” and on the multiplantinum-selling album
“Monkey Business” released in June 2005)that describes his
journey from a poverty-stricken district in the Philippines to Los Angeles'
galvanized California’s Filipino American community (as by its popularity
at weddings and birthday parties) and revealed to many Filipinos/Filipinas
their musical and historical heritage – especially for those who
haven’t embraced OPM (Overseas Pilipino Music – Gary V., Kuh
Ledesmo, Sharon Cuneta, Jose Marie Chan, Eraserheads, Jay R, etc.), their
history (via awareness of past "FilipinoTowns" - along with
those that started their knowledge of their community's history with the
recent Centennial Celebrations) and exposing them to the language of their
culture - Tagalog.
de Ap has started the process for music and videos on issues that directly
reflect the Asian/Asian Pacific American communities from prominent artists
to be played on American TV such as MTV and VH1. His willingness to self-finance
"Bebot" have set forth in motion and serioiusness to share stories
that are important to him. Even though he didn't achieve his ultimate
goal of American airplay, he stated that "The main purpose was to
get this (video/music) out to the Filipino community. People don't realize
there's a huge one in America." Could the next step be a video(s)
with an Asian/Asian Pacific Ameican theme produced and performed with
artists such as with Apl de Ap/Black Eyed Peas, Chad Hugo/The Neptunes,
Don "The Terminator" and M.I.A.?
night also honored John Chiang - Chair, State Board of Equalization, AS-CBS
Global, LTD., Filipino American Service Group, Inc. (FASGI) and Washington
Mutual. The night included the appearances/participation of Tia Carrere
(Wayne’s World), Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba), Cheryl Burke ("Dancing
with the Stars”), Angela Perez Baraquio (Miss America 2001), Camile
Velasco ("American Idol" Season 3) and the always entertaining
Fritz Friedman (Sony Pictures, Worldwide).
night and its honorees highlighted the fact that "unlike
other Asian immigrants, Filipinos have the English language skills
that lead to quicker assimilation to mainstream culture"
(Wendy Leung – AsianWeek on September 8, 2006) – in
addition to Indian immigrants (to a less known perception) –
and have adapted/embrace/integrated within the American entertainment
industry more quickly. This
has resulted in the Filipino communities’ quick assimilation
into the American culture and their English abilities (many
Filipinos arrived in the U.S. speaking English) have limited
the community’s need and/or desire to have “Filipino”
neighborhoods to feel "comfortable," as compared to other
ethnic groups – Asian or non-Asian. This has resulted in the
general perception of artists such as Apl de Ap, Tia Carrere, Cheryl
Burke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Rob Schneider and others as American
artists, as ooppose to an Asian/Asian American artist/performer.
Filipino American communities' abilitiy to assimlate quickly and
culturally adapt have short-circuited language issues that have
“separated” other Asian communities to the general public
that has continued a “foreigner” perception. In contract,
the inability to quickly assimlate and/or speak English have defined,
separate, isolate and/or strengthen other Asian-ethnic communities
such as the Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai and others
that have led to the formation of ethnic-specific enclaves for their
respective immigrant generation. These very same issues have been
the subject of debate within the Filipino and Asian communities
on what is a true definition of an Asian Pacific American? Note:
It is interesting that many within the Filipino American communities
are seeking to establish and/or remember past Filipino Towns ("Little
Manila") communities to remember their history that will illuninate
what paths are available in the future.
filled the night as it ranged from a vocal group providing professional
music renditions of songs normally heard in a night club or Filipino parties,
uplifting moments of ballroom dancing, an operatic-type singer trying
her best to sing pop songs and ending with Tia Carrere’s enjoyable
renditions of Tin Pan Alley song standards. However, the memorable moments
started with Tia Carrere’s introduction exclaiming that Pineda’s
story is the American dream to the music of “Bebot” that brought
everybody to their feet. The well-dressed Pineda continued saying a few
words of thanks in Tagalog, dedicating the award to his Filipino mother
and adoptive father (both in attendance) and thanking the Filipino community
for their support by proclaiming “I want to thank the Filipino community
for embracing me as a Filipino artist in this game. I represent Filipinos
every day, every second – I’m a proud Filipino.” Then
Pineda leaped offstage like a heavyweight fighter that has just won the
world title as “Bebot” pumped up the crowd even more.
he was leaving, I was thinking - could Allan Pineda possibly be the Filipino
community’s James Brown? The Godfather of Soul proclaim “”Say
It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.” At the Filipino American
Library’s 6th Annual Spirit Awards, Apl de Ap says “You’re
Filipino – shout it out, If you’re beautiful – shout
it out, If your life is valuable – shout it out!
AMERICAN LIBRARY HONOREES
Pineda grew up in a slum outside Angeles City on the island of Luzon.
His mother was Filipino. He never met his father, who was an American
in the U.S. Air Force. His first connection to the U.S. came when
a charity group found him an American sponsor, who started sending
him the equivalent of 7 cents a day to help pay for food. Pineda
had problems with his eyes, so his sponsor — a deputy Los
Angeles County counsel named Joe Ben Hudgens and single parent —
adopted him so he could receive better medical care in the U.S.
After his mother agreed and seven years of waiting, he arrived to
live with Hudgens, a deputy Los Angeles County counsel at Atwater
Village in 1989.
attended John Marshall High School and immersed himself in the multicultural
environment and the local hip-hop scene. He went to parties at homes
and nightclubs across Southern California, where he made connections
that led to the formation of the Black Eyed Peas. The group rose
to prominence in the late 1990s with an upbeat brand of rap and
stunning dance moves. Their multiculturalism — Filipino, Latino
and black members — set them apart.
John Chiang (born July 31, 1962 in New York
City) is a Democratic politician and has been California State Controller
since January 8, 2007. He previously served as Chair of the California
Board of Equalization and represented the Fourth District, primarily
serving southern Los Angeles County.
is the oldest son of four children from immigrant parents from Taiwan.
He was born in New York City and grew up within the first Asian
Pacific American family in their Chicago district. He graduated
with honors with a degree in Finance from the University of South
Florida and has a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
He came to Los Angeles in 1987 where he got involved with the Democratic
Party of the San Fernando Valley (DP/SFV).
began his career as a tax law specialist for the IRS. He worked
as an attorney for then California State Controller Gray Davis,
and also worked on the staff of California Senator Barbara Boxer.
He was first elected to office as Member of the Board of Equalization
in 1998 and elected to a second four-year term in 2002.
American Service Group
- As a non-profit agency, the Filipino American Service Group, Inc.
(FASGI), provides social services to low-income and homeless individuals,
with the language and cultural capacity to serve Asian Pacific-Islanders
(API's) in Los Angeles County. With funding from city, county, state
and federal levels, as well as private in-kind donations, FASGI
offers the following services: Information & Referral, Education
and Outreach Services,Transitional Housing Shelter, Case Management,
Independent Living Skills Training and Socialization and Recreation
Financial Services is a full-service brokerage firm that specializes
in helping individuals meet their financial goals. The segment offers
a broad range of investment products, including individual retirement
accounts (IRAs), fixed annuities, life insurance, stocks and bonds
as well as retirement and estate planning. The segment also offers
mutual funds, including those in the affiliated mutual fund family,
WM Group of Funds.